From a tiny mouse to a fierce predator, these wildlife pictures by Wild Card members celebrate the residents of our parks. They also answer an important question that we share with our animal cousins: ‘Did you get my best side?’
At Wild one of our many highlights is receiving interesting wildlife images taken by our readers while exploring parks and reserves. We sifted through hundreds of contributions and selected a few of the best to showcase our members’ skill behind the camera.
Andreas Ziegler snapped this adorable image of a four-striped mouse in the Addo Elephant National Park. “The mouse crossed the track in front of us and tried to hide behind the grass. We stopped next to it and took a first shot. The photo was not that good. I started manoeuvring the car to a better position. Whenever I tried this before with shy animals such as mice, it failed and the animal disappeared. However, this four-striped mouse was observing us, sitting still. It didn’t seem fearful at all. I waited for no more than a minute and was rewarded with this beautiful photo. We just call her Cutie.” Camera specs: Panasonic G3, 600 mm lens, f5.6, 1/500 sec, ISO 500
Colin and Melissa Markham from New South Wales in Australia spent 31 days in South Africa and visited four national parks during their holiday. “We saw heaps of birds, the Big Five and more. We took 3,000 photos and printed 600.” This image of a malachite kingfisher is one of nearly 90 bird species they came across. Camera specs: Sony SLT-A65V, 300 mm lens, f5.6, 1/500 sec, ISO 100
Linda Venter was in the Kruger National Park in May this year when she took this image of a red-billed oxpecker and impala on the H4-1 close to Lower Sabie. “This hardworking little oxpecker kept grooming even though the impala got really irritated.” Camera specs: Nikon D5000, 500 mm, f6.3, 1/200 sec, ISO 400
Estelle Holtzhausen spotted this yellow-billed hornbill during a five-day visit to the Kruger National Park. “On our way home, heading to Orpen Gate, we stopped at the Bobbejaanskrans viewing point to have some coffee and rusks. And along came the beggars – trained in the art and not budging until they got something to eat. Needless to say (we believe in not feeding wild animals), this cheeky bird could not believe our reluctance. It flew up from the ground and sat next to me on the bench giving me the evil eye. In the span of 30 seconds I shot away, but this image I loved the most.” Camera specs: Canon EOS 550D, 187 mm lens, f8, 1/250 sec, ISO 160
Adri Botma took this picture at Lake Panic in the Kruger National Park. “The water was very green and it was quite overcast. I saw a huge crocodile swim past and suddenly this hippo made its appearance. I had to rush to take the image – the hippo gave us a quick look and disappeared under the water again. It’s the first time that I got to see a hippo’s eye from such a close distance.” Camera specs: Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 400 mm lens, f7.1, 1/1250 sec, ISO 1000
Stuart Charlton took this photo in the Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park during the Easter 2015 break. He says the male lion was happily relaxed in the tree above a small waterhole. “He was totally unperturbed by us and another vehicle, even when his brother climbed into the tree he didn’t bat an eyelid. What an awesome sighting and a first for me seeing lions in a tree!” Camera specs: Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 100 mm, f5.8, 1/250 sec, ISO 400
William Scrooby crossed paths with this ground squirrel at Ubejane Loop in the Mountain Zebra National Park. This one must have been a model in its previous life. Camera specs: Canon PowerShot SX50 HS, 215 mm, f/6.5, 1/160 sec, ISO 100
Do you have pictures you want to brag with? Share your extraordinary wildlife sightings with us by emailing your pictures to [email protected].